Mother Daughter Fashion

PLTMay1a-13

Mother's Day Fashion Shoot - Under the Monkey Bars blog

Kids Fashion
Ruffle dress :: Eliane et Lena Tidyan from Lively Kids
White denim jacket :: Mayoral from Lively Kids
Chain statement necklace :: Pretty Little Things
Nautical layered lace dress :: Hatley from Lively Kids
Anchor hoodie :: Hatley from Lively Kids
Color zip boots :: Mini Boden

Mom Style
Blue dots dress :: Pretty Little Things
Tassel necklace :: Pretty Little Things
Watch :: Michele Chronograph
Brown boots :: Born {similar}

Mother's Day Fashion Shoot - Under the Monkey Bars blog

Our Mother Daughter fashion photo shoot was an absolute blast! It was lovely to spend the day bonding with my monkeys doing things we love together.

We spent Sunday morning at our favorite salon. It’s the first time ever that we all had matching nails. My stylist curled our hair for a more finished look. I haven’t had my makeup done in years and was thrilled at how natural it came out. They monkeys even wore some lip gloss and blush! It was so fun to be pampered. We truly felt like princesses.

I love that our outfits coordinate but aren’t matchy matchy. When you’re a tween, you don’t want to match your sister let alone your Mom. So uncool.

The monkeys naturally express themselves through fashion. It’s so important to feel confident and comfortable in your own skin — especially as kids get closer to middle school. We experiment and play with different looks and styles together. I know I’ll always have that special bond with them when it comes to fashion through the teenage years and beyond.

It doesn’t get more classic than blue and white for summer style. I’ve always loved the nautical look with a twist. Wear boots with dresses during this chilly New England spring, then transition to summer with sandals or flip flops. 

My dress and necklace are from Pretty Little Things, the new boutique here in Newburyport. If you’re in the area, definitely check it out! It’s the perfect little shop to pick up a few on-trend pieces each season. 

At first glance, I bet some Moms will think the clothes in the shop aren’t for them. Don’t make that mistake! Stop in and ask for help from the owner Michelle. I promise you won’t be disappointed. She truly has an eye for fashion and will make you look and feel fabulous! 

Mention “Monkey Bars” when you checkout for 10% off your purchase at the new Pretty Little Things store in Newburyport through June 1st. Shop local!

Shoot Details
Fashion :: Pretty Little Things + Lively Kids
Photography :: Mercy Street Studio
Salon: Beautique
Hair: Tammy Silva
Makeup: Raena Mae Mason

What We Really Want For Mother’s Day

What We Really Want For Mothers Day - Under the Monkey Bars blog

Moms melt when our kids give us homemade cards and shower us with hugs and kisses on Mother’s Day. But what do we really want for Mother’s Day?

I’ve been a Mom for ten years now. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t celebrate being a Mom. For me, Mother’s Day is every day. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to hold my daughters hands each and every day, raising them with instinct and love in this crazy world.

To love them and be loved is the greatest gift.

Mother’s Day comes with the pressure of finding that perfect gift for Mom. What can you possibly give to the Mother of your children to show her how thankful you are for everything she does for your family? It’s not easy.

Of course we’ll wear the bracelet you pick out together at the local jewelry store, or the anti-aging cream that you thoughtfully order for us. We’ll always drink out of the mug the kids painted at the local pottery shop. And we’ll save the tiles with their handprints they made at school for years to come.

But what do Moms really want for Mother’s Day? We want a day off to recharge. We want to escape to a place where no one is asking for a snack and no one is calling “Mommy” on repeat like a broken record.  Just a little break really.

Don’t get me wrong. We want to be with our kids on the actual day of Mother’s Day. We live to collect the hugs and kisses we earned the other 364 days of the year.

But the day before, and maybe even the day before that, encourage us to slip away. We may not realize it, but we really need — and deserve — the day off. Moms are notorious for taking care of everyone while putting ourselves last. We need to take better care of ourselves and make time for self care.

Whether or not we have a paying job, we work around the clock to feed, protect, and raise these little ones. Our kids are adorable and we absolutely love them to pieces. But they get up in the middle of the night, throw tantrums, refuse to cooperate, and vomit (I had you at vomit, didn’t I?).

That’s when we realize that we need a day off. But then the Mom guilt sets in. Oh, that Mom guilt. We should be with our family! We might miss something. They need us!

Some of us will just go off happily. 

But the rest of us, we might need a push and a shove. Maybe make an appointment at the spa for a massage and a pedicure? Check the schedule at the gym or yoga studio to for an exercise class. Or suggest some places we could go to recharge.

Attention Dads, partners, and kids: Help Mom. She helps you an awful lot. On Mother’s Day, don’t let us worry about our usual responsibilities around the house. No laundry. No cooking. No cleaning. No picking up. Don’t make a big deal that you’re doing it for us either. We notice.

In fact, let’s just go ahead and call it Mother’s Day weekend. Throw in an extra day or two for your sweet Momma.

And Moms, try not to feel guilty. Relish in your time. Whether you sit on the beach and listen to the waves or head out for a shopping trip with friends, you deserve every single minute of that “me” time. You’ll relax and be a better Mom.

Thank you for being someone’s Mother. Without you, life wouldn’t be nearly as full of love. Enjoy your Mother’s Day weekend. You’ve certainly earned it.

Khaki’s Bomb Balm Skin Care Giveaway

Khaki's Bomb Balm Giveaway - Under the Monkey Bars blog

I’m super excited to share with you the most AMAZING organic skin care products for Under the Monkey Bars first GIVEAWAY! Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’re giving away a set of Khaki’s Bomb Balm ANTI-AGING skin care products.

I know. It’s so exciting I can barely contain myself. Can you tell by all the caps?!?

I’ve been using 10 of Khaki’s Bomb Balm products for 6 months now and my skin has never looked better. I actually got a compliment the other day that I’m “glowing” — and I’m not even pregnant.

I went in to see Khaki at her Face Food Skin Care Studio here in Newburyport for a complimentary consolation back in November. I was having a heat induced reaction to the antibiotics I was taking to treat Lyme. After trying at least 5 products without any improvement (including prescriptions), I was shocked at how quickly Khaki’s handcrafted products cleared up my skin.

Khaki's Bomb Balm Giveaway - Under the Monkey Bars blog

The giveaway features Khaki’s anti-aging skin care set, which retails for $85. I use all 4 of these products daily and absolutely love them: Grapeseed & Grapefruit Cleansing Milk, Anti-aging Rosehip Lavender CreamDusk Radiance Treatment Serum, and Raw Honey Almond Exfoliant. Wait till you open the cream! I can no longer buy skin care products without pressed flowers. It’s just so luxurious!!

Khaki’s Bomb Balm is a completely natural, vegan friendly line of products that you can feel good about using. She’s an esthetician who creates small batch skin care products out of real food right here in Newburyport! Plus, it warms my heart that I’m supporting a local Momma of two little monkeys.

I love winning stuff. Seriously. Did you know that about me? And I actually do win things. But you have to enter the giveaway to win! So fill out the entry form below and cross your fingers. Someone is going to win these luxurious products just in time for Mother’s Day!! The winner will be announced on May 4th.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Birthday Spa Day

Spa Day at Interlocks Salon + Spa in Newburyport - Under the Monkey Bars Blog

Don and the girls gave me one of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts: a spa day!

I booked my spa day right away to celebrate birthday #38, but the stomach bug had other plans for me and Sweet Pea. My poor monkey was so sick.

Yesterday was my birthday spa day redux and it was FABULOUS! I spent 9am to 12pm at the newly renovated Interlocks Salon + Spa in Newburyport. It was my first time there since they expanded — and I’m in love.

Spa Day Massage at Interlocks in Newburyport - Under the Monkey Bars Blog

The spa is open, airy, and really well designed. It’s decorated in soothing grays, complimenting the water views and exposed brick. The new pedicure stations have the most beautiful soaking tubs. I couldn’t help but notice the artwork while I was there. So many gorgeous paintings! Interlocks is just what you picture in your mind for the perfect space to escape and rejuvenate. Pure bliss! I’m adding to my list of happy places…

It takes me a while to relax. I had my massage first, then a pedicure and manicure. It’s amazing how the stress just melts away. My extra long to-do list vanished from my mind. Everything was soothing…relaxing…and spa-licious. I could do this every day!

I love reading books that Bean recommends. "Small as an Elephant" by Jennifer Richard Jacobson is her latest. It's really good so far.

I love reading books that Bean recommends. “Small as an Elephant” by Jennifer Richard Jacobson is her latest. It’s really good so far.

We all need to take a day off now and then. We’re so busy that we can’t imagine taking the time to care for ourselves — but it makes our bodies work so much better. What a difference a day off makes for mental clarity and overall health.

Whether you make yourself an appointment, buy a gift certificate for a friend, or create a home spa in your bathroom, DO IT. You deserve it and so do the people you love. Find your happy place.